2 a.m. Feeding

It’s his 2 am feeding. Walking into the living room to sit in our comfy chair for the next hour. It’s quiet and I enjoy his soft skin and big eyes looking up at me. The after-hours bar is open, The Milk Bar. It’s actually always open, but in the wee hours of night, I like to pretend it’s an after-hours club that only those in the know can get into.

With his birth has come the birth of something else. Fear of death. First and foremost his with Sparky and I taking up the next spots. I can’t actually let go of this fear and the more I try not to think about it, the bigger it becomes. So then I think about it and plan for Sparky’s and my demise. Who would take over? How would Max be cared for? Do we have enough life insurance? All good things to think about perhaps once and then talk to a lawyer, but that is not how my brain works.

I have talked to Sparky who listens to my macabre plans, but we don’t actually accomplish anything more than I’m really imaginative at coming up with how we die and scenarios that piss me off if I die first. Do not let Mutti raise Max! Move back to America.  Who would care for Max like I would and how do I ensure in the case of my death that he gets everything I want for him?

At 2 am, walking towards that comfy chair, Kiska is sleeping. She’s on her back with her legs, all four, straight up in the air. I pause, waiting for some sort of movement like I do when I can’t hear Max breath. She’s too old to sleep that way. I say her name softly and she stirs, still not moving from the “legs up“ position, mocking my fear, damn cat.

Three a.m. and Max is asleep. Milk-drunk. Once again, The Milk Bar doesn’t disappoint. Good thing he’s got a ride home.

Back to the bedroom and to Sparky. We establish our space again. No pillows, only an empty duvet cover for Sparky and I, Max swaddled in the middle, Sparky at the other end. We’ve got it down. Max isn’t too close, but close enough that I can watch for those breath movements or reach out and touch him when I need to.

I hear a whisper of a breath. It sounds just like the final exhalation of the dead. I look over at Sparky, is he moving? I can’t tell. In a second, I imagine that the headache he had last night was really an aneurysm and he’s just died. The panic wells up in my throat when it hits me. It smells like death, but it was from a completely different part of his anatomy. I cover Max and I for a few minutes while the scent dissipates.

I’m hoping this death thing passes soon. I don’t know if it’s new baby fears or hormones or just my anxiety finally settling down for a long visit. All I know is that cats should be able to sleep unmolested and I really don’t want to live my life being thankful for Sparky’s SBDs.

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7 thoughts on “2 a.m. Feeding

  1. An old school chum of mine was a farm lad. From time to time, we’d travel to from the city to his family farm, where his father stayed and worked. It was a man’s place–no fancy trappings, and no expectation of city airs and graces.

    Once, my friend’s father farted at the dinner table. His son scolded him on his manners.

    “Headbang knows that if you don’t eat, you can’t fart,” he replied. “And we’ll have nobody starving around here!”

    The SBD is a sign, as you point out, of rude good health.

  2. How the hell did I miss last week`s big event. My very best wishes to all of you. Ze little one is very, very cute.

  3. I’m 4 months into this parenting thing and the fear of death is only now subsiding. Word of advice: avoid all movies right now. For some reason, in the last 6 months, every single movie I have seen (which has been quite a few) has a baby or child die in it. Every single one. It’s like a new awful trend that keeps me choked up. And awake at night, like you, hand on the babe’s chest, checking for breaths. Ugh.

  4. I had the fear too. We did wills, increased life insurance, went back and forth over who would raise them if we couldn’t. I actually wrote letter to them in the event of death. I can’t say I never think about it now, but it certainly is much less and usually brought by some event (travel without the kids etc.). It will be okay, you just need time.

  5. Totally normal to think about it. I poke all three of them all the time when they’re sleeping to see if they’re still breathing and I woke up on Sunday morning convinced that 13 yr old was probably lying dead in his bed because he had such a bad cold over the weekend. He was alive and well, of course. You never stop worrying about them, and that’s OK.

    Do make sure you guys have a will though, and appoint an official legal guardian because I think in Germany if you don’t do that and the worst case scenario comes about, the child becomes a ward of the court and it takes ages to get things sorted out.

  6. Two years later, and I still check that The Boy is breathing. The scary everyone but him dies scenarios have passed for me though. Thankfully. Hugs friend!

  7. I have been reading your blog for a while but have never commented before. The death thing. emm – I experienced this is a different way.
    Which I don’t think is appropriate now to share with you.
    The thing is you are experiencing a natural experience.
    You have wanted a baby for so long and now you are afraid of your responsibilities.This is because you are a great mom!
    You appreciate life and your baby so much. I think it is natural to want to be sure he is always going to be cared for.
    What you need to do is make a will and take out insurance policies. Do it and forget about it.
    Checking on him is normal. It is a new mom’s concern and is very natural.
    Blessings to you and your little one.

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